John Storgårds started his career in music as a violinist and served as concertmaster for many orchestras in Finland and abroad before becoming a conductor through the conducting class of the Sibelius Academy. His career as a violinist still continues as a soloist and in chamber music.

In the early years of his career as a conductor, Storgårds led the Helsinki University Symphony Orchestra (YS) in 1992–1996. This was followed by a contract as artistic director of the Lapland Chamber Orchestra in 1996, a title he continues to hold to this day. In the years 2003–2008, he was principal guest conductor of the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra and in 2008–2015 the orchestra’s 12th chief conductor. Storgårds has also held permanent positions in Oulu, Tapiola and Tampere.

John Storgårds has been appointed as the chief conductor of the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra for the 2023–2026 season, having served as the orchestra’s principal guest conductor since January 2012. Since autumn 2015, he has also been the principal guest conductor of the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa. Storgårds is also a regular guest of the symphony orchestras of St. Louis, Chicago, Toronto, Houston and Detroit and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra.

In 2022–2024, he will also be appearing with the symphony orchestras of Atlanta, Chicago, Boston and Montreal, in addition to the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra and the Tonkunstler Orchestra based in Vienna.

Storgårds has an extensive discography, including not only major orchestral works with several different orchestras, but also a large number of pieces that are rarely performed. Examples include the complete symphonies of Sibelius and Nielsen with the BBC Philharmonic, Madetoja and Korngold recordings with the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, and Mahler’s Symphony No. 10 and the Outi Tarkiainen recordings with the Lapland Chamber Orchestra.

His most important violin teacher was Chaim Taub.


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